Justin Boston held off Mason Mitchell in the closing laps of the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care on Sunday at Toledo Speedway to earn his first career ARCA Racing Series win in his 26th start. Boston drove the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota to the lead past Grant Enfinger with 23 laps to go in the 200 lap race around the half mile track.
"What a car today, I can not tell you how good (crew chief) Kevin Reed prepared this ZLOOP Camry today," Boston said on Fox Sports 1. "It feels good to finally get our first win."
Mason Mitchell passed Enfinger for second with 15 laps to go and tried to run down Boston but came up short in his effort to score his first career win. Only five cars finished on the lead lap with Matt Tifft finishing third, Ken Schrader fourth, and John Wes Townley fifth.
Mitchell started from the pole after setting a Toledo track record on Saturday in qualifying and by lap 30 he was still leading but Enfinger and Boston stayed right with him.
On lap 32 JJ Haley who at age 15 who became the youngest ever driver to start an ARCA Racing Series event, lost fuel pressure and pitted to get the issue fixed. He finished 18th of the 28 cars.
The first caution came out on lap 51 when John Wes Townley got into the lap car of Mike Buckley and spun him. As that happened Mitchell checked up to avoid the spin and Enfinger snuck past for the lead before the yellow was thrown. Justin Allison did not pit under the caution so he inherited the lead with Mithcell getting off pit road first restarting in second. Boston was third and Enfinger fourth for the lap 59 restart.
Mitchell was easily able to take the lead from Allison and was leading when the second caution flew on lap 67 when Jay Curry stopped on track. Allison used this opportunity to pit for four tires while everyone else stayed out. The race would restart on lap 73 and on lap 77 Justin Boston took his first lead and Enfinger moved to second as Mitchell struggled with his handling.
Boston still led when the third caution flew on lap 103 when Thomas Praytor had an issue and backed hard into the Turn 3 wall. He finished in 21st. On the pit stops Boston got blocked in by Mitchell and could not exit right away which allowed Kyle Benjamin to get off pit road first. Justin Allison stayed out again to lead with Benjamin second, Boston third, and Enfinger fourth for the lap 112 restart,
Benjamin was able to get the jump and take the lead from Allison and Enfinger moved into second. It didn't take Enfinger long to take the lead as he took the top spot on lap 115 and he led when the fourth caution flew on lap 126 when Tom Hessert had an engine expire. Hessert finished 20th. On this caution all the lead cars stayed out except for Allison who pitted to put on two fresh tires and he would restart in 13th on lap 134.
Enfinger was able to hold the lead over Boston and Mitchell on the restart as those three drivers separated themselves from the rest of the field. On lap 151 Kyle Benjamin slowed and came to pit road with an apparent transmission problem. He finished 19th.
The battle for the lead heated up with about 25 laps left and on lap 178 Boston got below Enfinger in Turn 3 and led at the start-finish line. The two would battle side-by-side for the next four laps until Boston completed the pass for good on lap 182. Mason Mitchell moved to second on lap 186 past Enfinger.
Then on lap 192 Enfinger had a right-front tire go down and he came to pit road. That same issue happened to Spencer Gallagher on the same lap and then happened to Frank Kimmel, who was running fifth, on lap 197. As the leaders worked the final lap Josh Williams had his right-front go down but the green flag remained out and Justin Boston beat Mason Mitchell to the line for the win.
Frank Kimmel's amazing streak of 35 straight top 10 finishes came to an end with the flat tire as he finished in 14th.
Finishing in sixth was Cody Caughlin, Justin Allison was seventh, Austin Wayne Self eighth, Michael Lira ninth, and Carl Weber tenth. With the late tire issues, Josh Williams finished 11th, Grant Enfinger 12th, and Spencer Gallagher 13th.
After five races in the season Grant Enfinger holds a 15 point lead over Mason Mitchell in the driver standings. Frank Kimmel is 125 points back in third, Tom Hessert is 165 points back in fourth, and John Wes Townley is 195 back in fifth. Spencer Gallagher is sixth, Austin Wayne Self is seventh, and Justin Boston is eighth.
The next race up for the ARCA Racing Series is on June 1st at the New Jersey Motorsports Park road course.Tags: ARCA Racing Series, Austin Wayne Self, Frank Kimmel, Grant Enfinger, John Wes Townley, Josh Williams, Justin Allison, Justin Boston, Ken Schrader, Kyle Benjamin, Mason Mitchell, Matt Tifft, Motorsports, Spencer Gallagher, Toledo Speedway